Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Seagull Chicks Is Related to the Consumption of Freshwater Food Resources.
PLoS One. 2016 Mar 14;11(3):e0150249. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150249. eCollection 2016. Cabezón O1,2, Cerdà-Cuéllar M2, Morera V3, García-Bocanegra I4, González-Solís J3, Napp S2, Ribas MP1, Blanch-Lázaro B1, Fernández-Aguilar X1,2, Antilles N2, López-Soria S2, Lorca-Oró C2, Dubey JP5, Almería S6,2. Author information 1 Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinaria, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. 2 Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA) - Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA), Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain. 3 Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio) and Departament de Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. 4 Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, UCO, Córdoba, Spain. 5 Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD, United States of America. 6 Departament de Sanitat i d'Anatomia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. Abstract Understanding the spread of Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) in wild birds, particularly in those with opportunistic feeding behavior, is of interest for elucidating the epidemiological involvement of these birds in the maintenance and dissemination of the parasite. Overall, from 2009 to 2011, we collected sera from 525 seagull chicks (Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and Audouin's gull (L. audouinii)) from 6 breeding colonies in Spain and tested them using the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of antibodies against T. gondii. Chick age was estimated from bill length. Main food source of seagull chicks was evaluated using stable isotope analyses from growing scapular feathers. Overall T. gondii seroprevalence was 21.0% (IC95% 17.5-24.4). A generalized linear mixed-effects model indicated that year (2009) and food source (freshwater) were risk factors associated to the individual risk of infection by T. gondii, while age (days) was close to significance. Freshwater food origin was related to the highest seroprevalence levels, followed by marine origin, supporting freshwater and sewages as important routes of dispersion of T. gondii. Year differences could indicate fluctuating rates of exposure of seagull chicks to T. gondii. Age ranged from 4 to 30 days and seropositivity tended to increase with age (P = 0.07), supporting that seropositivity is related to T. gondii infection rather than to maternal transfer of antibodies, which in gulls is known to sharply decrease with chick age. This study is the first to report T. gondii antibodies in Yellow-legged and Audouin's gulls, thereby extending the range of intermediate hosts for this parasite and underscoring the complexity of its epidemiology. PMID: 26974667 PMCID: PMC4790883 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150249 [Indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+